At the entrance to a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg, Centeno considered that the early repayment by Portugal of part of its loans from the European Financial Stabilization Fund (EFSF) during the foreign aid program “is another step in the normalization of its financial situation, which translates into a very positive assessment that the institutions have been making over the last few years of this same evolution ”, and is therefore good news for the euro area as a whole.
“The reduction in indebtedness in the Portuguese economy, both public and private indebtedness, is the dominant note of this assessment, and a consequence of this reduction is precisely the increased capacity that the country has had, always in collaboration with the institutions, in this area. European case, which are Portugal's creditors, to make advance payments, ”he said.
Mário Centeno recalled that, “as president of the Eurogroup”, he has “been following all these processes” of the regularization of loans granted under the financial assistance programs “with great satisfaction, and when it is also with other countries, the exact same thing happens. "
“The truth is that Portugal has been one of the most active actors in this dimension of regularizing its financial situation, and that is all good news for Portugal. And when there is good news for a euro area country, there is good news for the euro area. And I want to stress again: as president of the Eurogroup, that is what gives me satisfaction today, ”he concluded.
On Tuesday night, Deputy Secretary of State and Finance Ricardo Mourinho Félix, who represents Portugal today at the Eurogroup meeting, told Lusa that Portugal will pay next week – between 15 and 17 October – the early repayment of EUR 2 billion to the EFSF for loans granted during the 'troika'.
The official stated that this advance payment, already announced by the executive, will allow a cumulative interest saving of around 120 million euros, since the loans in question matured only in 2025/2026.
“[O reembolso antecipado] It has the virtue, in addition to saving in interest, of reducing what we have to pay in 2025 and 2026, which are years when payments were particularly concentrated, ”he explained.
As loans to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have already been repaid, the EFSF and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) have yet to be repaid.
In order for the EFSF repayment of two billion to be advanced, it was agreed that there would still be an advance payment of EUR 500 million to the ESM by 2022, as reported by the European Commission on Tuesday following the tenth mission. post-program follow-up.
In addition, it was agreed that the € 6.75 billion due to the ESM maturing in 2021 “are extended in terms of maturity over the following years, which also makes it possible to ease the payment in 2025 and 2026 without that has increased costs, ”said Mourinho Félix.
The EFSF Board of Directors approved on 5 September Portugal's request to repay in advance two billion euros of loans granted under this fund during the financial assistance program (2011-2014).
Under the financial assistance program (2011 to 2014), Portugal benefited from EUR 78 billion in external assistance, provided in equal parts (one third each, ie EUR 26 billion) by the EFSF, the European Union. (European Financial Stabilization Mechanism) and IMF.